Follow the way of love1 and eagerly desire2 spiritual gifts,3 especially the gift of prophecy.42
For anyone who speaks in a tonguea5 does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him;6 he utters mysteries7 with his spirit.b3
But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening,8 encouragement9 and comfort.
He who speaks in a tongue10 edifies11 himself, but he who prophesies12 edifies the church.
I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,c but I would rather have you prophesy.13 He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues,d unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.146
Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation15 or knowledge16 or prophecy or word of instruction?177
Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?
Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?189
So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.
Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.
If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.1912
So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts,20 try to excel in gifts that build up21 the church.
For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.2214
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,23 but my mind is unfruitful.
So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit,24 but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing25 with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.
If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understande say "Amen"26 to your thanksgiving,27 since he does not know what you are saying?
You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.2818
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.2920
Brothers, stop thinking like children.30 In regard to evil be infants,31 but in your thinking be adults.
In the Law32 it is written: "Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me,"f33 says the Lord.
Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy,34 however, is for believers, not for unbelievers.
So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understandg or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?3524
But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understandh comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all,
and the secrets36 of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"37
What then shall we say, brothers?38 When you come together, everyone39 has a hymn,40 or a word of instruction,41 a revelation, a tongue42 or an interpretation.43 All of these must be done for the strengthening44 of the church.
If anyone speaks in a tongue, two--or at the most three--should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.
Two or three prophets45 should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.4630
And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.
For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.
The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.4733
For God is not a God of disorder48 but of peace.49 As in all the congregations50 of the saints,5134
women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak,52 but must be in submission,53 as the Law54 says.
If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Did the word of God55 originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?
If anybody thinks he is a prophet56 or spiritually gifted,57 let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command.5838
If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.i39
Therefore, my brothers, be eager59 to prophesy,60 and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly61 way.